SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Jackie’s Warrior put on a show from start to finish as he wired Monday’s $250,000 Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
Jackie’s Warrior broke from post 6 under Joel Rosario as the 9/5 second choice and went straight to the front, outkicking his rivals and safely crossing over to the rail.
With Papetu and the even-money favorite Reinvestment Risk keeping closest watch, Jackie’s Warrior posted opening fractions of :22.56 and :44.83. The rest of the field began dropping off in the far turn as Jackie’s Warrior straightened for home with a growing advantage.
Wrapped up inside the 1/16 pole, the Steve Asmussen trainee crossed 2 1/4 lengths clear of Reinvestment Risk, completing the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint in 1:21.29.
“He broke really fast and I was 2 lengths in front right away,” Rosario said. “He’s a fast horse. He was able to carry his speed the whole way around. I tried to get off the rail a little bit and it felt like he was comfortable with that. It’s unbelievable, the way he ran he ran last time. and he was probably better today. He’s a big horse and it looks like he can go longer, too.”
Mutasaabeq, Ampersand, Papetu, Nutsie, and Fearless Fly completed the strung-out order of finish.
Jackie’s Warrior has now won all 3 of his career starts, including the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) last time out. The Maclean’s Music juvenile colt, purchased for $95,000 as a yearling, has now earned $265,064.
“He’s a very athletic colt that gets over the ground extremely well,” said Asmussen’s chief assistant Scott Blasi. “Steve picked him out for Mr. Robison and it’s been a good partnership over the years. We’re extremely happy to have him.”
Jackie’s Warrior returned $5.70 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.30 to show. Reinvestment Risk brought back $2.30 to place and $2.40 to show, while Mutasaabeq paid $2.50 to show.